That weird flashfic thing with Lizzie getting drunk I wrote yesterday?
It's official: he hates her.
He doesn't hate her. Not really, of course. He's just... annoyed. At the entire unfair universe, but mostly at Elizabeth Weir.
"... would serve to benefit both our peoples, and I'm sure you can understand how the implementation of more advanced industrial methods would vastly increase production..."
Ford, apparently as bored by the negotiation proceedings as he is, pokes him in the side. "Are you all right, sir?"
He mutters something vaguely affirmative, and Ford settles back down to guard the room in the attentive way he has where he seems to be perpetually expecting something to explode.
John groans, and tries to rub exhaustion out of his brain through his eyes. There is absolutely no way that this is fair. By all rights, Elizabeth Weir should be wishing for death right now in the special hell reserved for mornings after drinking the way she did last night, and he should be alternately holding her hair back sympathetically and mocking her for it.
In reality, she's bright-eyed, perky, and discussing industrial planning with all brain cells completely functional, and he was the one up half the night.
Blessedly, not for that reason. No, his is another kind of hell, the one where every time he dozed off he was faced with the kind of dream that great pornography is made of. Which, in another time and place, might be cause for celebration, but not so much so when the object of his fantasies is sleeping four feet away and paranoia about talking in his sleep keeps snapping him awake before the dreams can reach the really good parts.
He definitely hates her. There's no reason at all why a single kiss -- a rather sloppily executed one, too -- and a very drunk, mostly joking promise to revisit that single kiss at some unspecified date in the future, should spawn an entire night of that. Or should leave him still thinking about it the next morning, while she and Rodney McKay babble on pleasantly about things as fundamentally unsexy as assembly lines and iron ore and nitrogenating crop rotation.
Between that, and her shocking ability to lift her head at all this morning, he's declaring her a freak of nature, and an evil one at that.
He jerks his head up to see everyone in the room looking at him expectantly. He's definitely missed something. That, or he has picked a really unfortunate time to become one of those people who mumbles their thoughts aloud.
The devil takes pity on him, and she prompts, "Do you thing we have enough explosives to spare to open the mine shaft?"
"As long as it's properly supervised, yes," he agrees in his best of-course-I've-been-paying-attention-Eli
And with that, his contribution to the proceedings comes to a close and the boredom continues. Rodney, he observes, rarely lets anyone finish more than one complete sentence at a time. Teyla blinks substantially less frequently than most people. Ford... is, well, really boring to study when he's on watch, because he doesn't do anything except watch.
And he, John Sheppard, is most likely never going to actually get to kiss Elizabeth Weir again.
Which would be fine -- he never wanted to before, not really -- if only he could stop thinking about it.
Ford pokes him again. "Are you sure you're okay?"
John straightens up and does his best to pay attention, reminding himself that he might learn something and, well, if paying attention to her isn't helping matters, he can always pay attention to McKay and hopes that kills off any romantic notions that might be lodged in his brain. "Fine," he grits out. "Just... hoping we get lunch soon."
He hasn't figured out what he's going to say, but they should probably at least talk about it -- something they didn't get a chance to do between tumbling out of their respective beds and this interminable meeting. Shouldn't they? Or is this the sort of thing best left tactfully ignored?
John can feel the kid studying him. "Are you worried about Doctor Weir? Because she seems fine."
"No." He isn't worried about her, he just thinks she's possessed by evil. "But it's a good thing the Lutterians don't seem to mind her behavior last night." It's probably mean, but it feels good to take a stab at her since he's the one who ended up with a headache from the whole thing.
"You didn't think it was nice to see her... relax a bit?"
Yes. It was. Very nice, because with a mug or two of some-odd-proof in her she became the funny, flirty, uninhibited woman he always suspected was buttoned up under her collar. It was so nice, in fact, that he's horribly disappointed that she woke up in business mode. Some part of him was clearly hoping she'd stay that way (well, maybe a little more inhibited) even once her head cleared.
He likes that she let him see her with her guard down.
And, well, he also likes that she stuck her tongue down his throat, even if that part was a bit awkward. What is he supposed to say to her about that? 'Sorry I didn't manage to keep you from jumping me'? A generic 'So... that was pretty weird'? Or, the always popular 'When can we do that again? I'm free at 1600.'
He actually groans aloud, but manages to disguise it in a cough before Ford can find cause to hassle him again. The negotiating seems to be winding down -- he can tell more from the relieved smile on Elizabeth's face than from the conversation itself, since he hasn't really been listening to that -- and they are due to head back to Atlantis after lunch.
He really will have to talk to her. It probably would be better to tactfully ignore it, but hell, if he's thinking this much about it, she's probably at least a little bit embarrassed or concerned and will want the air cleared as much as he does. The subject will be closed, and he can return to his previously scheduled programming of teasing her for draping herself all over that Lutterian last night, herding them all back to Atlantis, and not thinking about kissing Doctor Weir.
That sounds like a very good plan.
Elizabeth is, actually, the one to corner him at lunch.
This is good, because it saves him the effort of stealing her away from the alien delegates who didn't appear to want to give her up. This is bad, because it means she gets the first word.
"Major, I just wanted to... apologize for last night."
She's so serious with her apology that he really would feel bad for teasing her too much, and so he scratches that off his list of expected fun for the day.
"It's nothing, really," he says instead. "You've got to let yourself go wild sometime." And then, on a breath, in a voice that hopefully sounds more cool than completely dorky, "It's not like I minded. Much."
So, maybe he can't get by without a little teasing.
Dry amusement on her part. "Maybe, but some habits are probably best left in graduate school. I hope I didn't do anything too... unseemly."
That isn't a good sign. "You don't remember?"
Wait, no, that is a good sign. Isn't it? Shouldn't that mean that all awkwardness is gone and there's no further need for his brain to race about it all? If a drunken kiss happens on a newly industrialized planet and no one (except him) remembers it, then is it a kiss at all?
Elizabeth makes a face. "I remember most of dinner, and I remember discussing... something with the Lutterian delegates, and... I didn't try and sing anything, did I?"
John forces out a laugh. "No."
"Be grateful." She touches his arm. "Thank you, for dealing with me. I assume-"
His whole body is suddenly at heightened alert, like all his nerves are clamboring to get closer to the point of contact of her hand, but he tries to ignore the feeling. "I... poured you into bed. Yes. Before there was any chance of show tunes."
The hand is gone. Her glance is already drifting back toward the others. He should probably warn her about exactly why that one Lutterian delegate seems to like her so much, but she doesn't give him the chance. "Thank you again, John." And then, with a smile, "I promise it'll never happen again."
Damn, he thinks, but manages to stop that errant thought from reaching his lips. What he actually says is, "It's no problem."
It's definitely a problem.
It has been a week, five days, and ten-ish hours since his boss got blitzed and kissed him and... well, and he's counting the hours since his boss got blitzed and kissed him.
This is bad. Very bad. The dreams provided by his hyperactive imagination are incredibly hot more than distressing, in and of themselves, but every time he sees her he thinks of them. And, since pretty much every time he sees her it's in a professional capacity exactly none of the times he sees her is in a sexual capacity, this is all a very bad thing.
If he could get rid of all the outward signs of a schoolboy crush, though, and keep the dreams, he probably would. (Though this isn't a schoolboy crush, thank you.) And not only because those fantasies are the closest he has been to a warm body since his one encounter with an Ancient that -- while exciting at the time -- left him with a throughly scrambled brain. It isn't that he's sworn off aliens, but the next time he has an affair he'd prefer that it not leave him with freaky memory flashbacks and insomnia and migraines for the next six weeks.
Even if migraines in general and those migraines in particular were the topics of the first real, personal conversation he ever had with Elizabeth -- at an insomniac 0400, no less. The suggestion of a washcloth compress over his eyes helped, and the sympathetic ear helped more. They talk since then, and he likes that.
And here he is, almost two weeks (approximately) since, well, since that thing on Lutteria, and he's unable to have a single train of thought without it wending back to her.
The average observer would call him smitten. Except he isn't smitten. He's pissed off.
And the most frustrating part (well, maybe not the most, but a very frustrating part) is that the kiss itself wasn't that good. Their heads didn't get a chance to align, her balance was off, and he almost started to choke with surprise. Not exactly an auspicious beginning, and certainly not worth all of this.
Something that he's more than aware of in graphic detail. He's analyzed the memory to death enough for both of them, since she doesn't remember it at all.
And that, really, is the most frustrating part. She has no idea. At all. He should be grateful, really, that she either has a ridiculously high tolerance for him staring at her in briefings and dropping by her office with no reason four times a day and other strange behavior, or that she declared him a lost cause for sanity so long ago that she doesn't even notice the odd things he does anymore. Either way, she hasn't said a word.
He should be grateful, but instead -- and totally against logic -- it's only pissing him off more. If she knew, too, then... well, he's almost certain nothing more would actually happen, but at least he wouldn't be going crazy without sympathetic witnesses. It just seems important. It's possible that the only reason it's driving him nuts is because it's a secret.
And the part of him that does kind of have a schoolboy crush can't help but hope that maybe, maybe, if she knew, she might want to do something about it. Or, at least, go as crazy as him.
He could use the company.
"Major. John, are you listening to me?"
It's probably the sixth time she's asked that since he arrived to talk about plans for securing new space to expand their living area, and the week-four-days of insanity all comes to a head. She's wearing that low-cut tank top that only comes out when she forgets to turn her uniform in for laundry, he's been locked alone with her for over an hour in the small glass aquarium she calls an office, and he can't stand it anymore.
"You kissed me."
She gives him an odd look, like she's misheard him, and glances once down at her PDA like what he's saying might have something to do with what they're actually discussing. "I'm sorry?"
In the split-second before he speaks, he realizes that he could still chicken out, come up with something that sounds reasonably like 'you kissed me' to claim he said -- the way they do in movies -- and thereby successfully execute retreat. Instead, he repeats, "You kissed me. On Lutteria."
She sets her PDA down on the desk and covers her mouth with her hand while she thinks for less than a moment. Then, "I had a feeling there was something you weren't telling me. I was afraid I'd kissed one of the Lutterians."
He laughs, a lot louder than is strictly necessary, but then, he's on edge. "Oh, you did that, too."
Elizabeth winces. "Oh, no. What else did I do?"
"Just that," he assures her. "You made some interesting observations about cross-cultural anthropology, kissed one of the Lutterians, and... me."
She considers it. "That's not so bad." She looks like she'd like to disappear completely, but her voice remains calm. "We did still get the treaty, so I'll assume I didn't violate any remarkable cultural barriers."
That's a good point. It isn't really so bad. "He didn't seem to mind."
She groans, covers her face with her hands, and takes another moment to recover. He wonders if he's sparked a memory of her own, but she doesn't admit to it if he has. "Just kissed?" She sounds far too hopeful.
"Yes," he says, and doesn't quite keep back a sigh. "Promise."
Her cheeks are still getting steadily more red. "I'm sorry, John, for putting you in that position. I'll review the mission protocol on sobriety before next time."
She looks so genuinely contrite that he feels guilty for bringing it up. "Hey, don't beat yourself up too much. We've all been there."
"Yes, but we haven't all been there on another planet."
"Well... all planets are another planet to someone," he says with a grin, and it isn't until the words are out of his mouth that he hears how thoroughly goofy they are. Good God, he's flirting with her. And badly.
And, again, she doesn't seem to notice.
"You're sure you're not leaving anything out this time?" she presses him, and literally braces her hands against her desk for what he might say.
He hesitates, but only long enough to decide that yes, it does count as 'anything else.' And, well, he's going to leave out the part about aliens kissing better than he does, just in case she wasn't joking. "Well, you did promise to kiss me again later."
She smirks, and John doesn't think she completely believes him. "I'm sure I did."
"You aren't going to hold me to it, are you?"
This is the moment, he realizes, where he could actually lean across her desk and get away with it, even though he knows she's hoping for nothing but an end to this conversation so she can sink through the floor in peace. It would be nice -- more than nice -- to touch her again. But given the state their last kiss put him into, not to mention the very transparent walls of this office and the very busy control room outside, he should probably be more careful than that.
Banter it is. And if he manages to put the oweness back on her in the process, well, it's not cowardice, it's chivalry. "And here I thought you were a woman of your word."
She shakes her head, blush in full force. "Says the man who swore he'd have this survey done three weeks ago."
How can being subtly censured by his commander sound so much like verbal foreplay, when she's clearly just trying to put them back on the professional track? Oh, right. Because he's crazy. "Some things can't be rushed, Elizabeth."
Not that he's being particularly subtle, but the look in her eyes tells him loud and clear that she gets it. He can't tell if she appreciates it or not, though, because as soon as she opens her mouth to reply (oh, wow, her mouth) the door slides open from the outside, and he whips around so fast at the sound that he almost falls off the chair.
Zelenka. He's going to kill Zelenka.
"I apologize... am I interrupting something?"
"No," Elizabeth replies brightly, total innocence belying the color of her cheeks. "What can we do for you?"
Zelenka launches into a polysyllabic explanation about structural integrity in the sections John's team is about to explore, and fear of collapsing buildings and potential death forces him to put aside all other thoughts and pay attention.
And the fact that he's still distracted at all, still very aware of how she crosses and uncrosses her legs and taps the end of her stylus against her lips while she's listening, means that the brilliant plan wherein he reveals the great secret and then gets over it has failed pretty spectacularly.
And she didn't even seem anything more than embarrassed at the notion that she kissed him. Not that he expected she would, but the fact that he's disappointed now means that he... kind of hoped it. Of course, this is Elizabeth Weir, the undisputed master on Atlantis -- when sober -- at concealing outward displays of emotion, so...
No. He's being ridiculous. He has done his moral duty in relaying all necessary information, and now he's going to forget it ever happened. Period.
That's the new plan. How hard can it be?
Er... I was going to make this a polltastic fic and write a poll for "omg, what should happen NEXT in this terrible funfic?" but failed to come up with amusing poll responses. So. It's open season -- if you'd like more of this, comment your suggestions.
And then they can be compiled into a poll. Or... actual fic. Or something. *makes no promises and runs away*